Take a document to any lawyer and chances are they will want to make changes. Bring your car into your local garage, chances are they will find something to fix.
This “spider in the web” approach to doing business is quite different from roving crews with hammers looking for things to hit.
I “get” continuous process improvement (CPI) as a way to keep LEAN practitioners busy.
The only problem is there is not enough time/resources to fix all problems so it’s a good idea to spend a reasonable amount of time on identifying the 20% of issues that cause 80% of the problem.
Once you have fixed these problems, it pays to tread lightly on further “improvements” because of the law of diminishing returns.
Next, we have the “principle of conservation of difficulty” that one of my correspondents pointed out had a practical implementation called “whack a mole”.
I had never heard of “whack a mole” but it finally dawned on me that it means “fix this, break that”. Works for sure in the area of do-it-yourself plumbing.
Bottom line, all change costs money and is disruptive.
So, my point regarding CPI is, nice concept, just don’t take it to extremes.
LEAN is a long established methodology, I suspect its greatest area of success is serial manufacturing but we can extend that to custom serial manufacturing today providing a product has been designed in such a way that it accommodates excursions from standard.
In fast-changing environments where strategic plans are updated every 18 months instead of every 5 years and where updates to strategy require updates to operations, LEAN oftentimes does not have time to do its magic.
Too much of a focus on LEAN brings you to MEAN (penny wise but pound foolish).